The recent celebration of the box-office performance of Andy Muschietti‘s It is not only premature (again, the domestic tally so far is nowhere close to even a third of what The Exorcist made back in ’73 and ’74) but grotesque. Especially when compared to the obviously superior quality of Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper and its disproportionately modest box-office haul of $1,305,000 domestic.
So far It, a wildly unsubtle chain-jerk of a horror film and tailor-made for for the ADD-afflicted, has earned $266 million and change, and has therefore been praised as a culture-shaker while Personal Shopper, a genuinely unnerving and quietly ground-breaking ghost flick, was elbowed aside by a fair number of critics who should have known better.
I’m mentioning this because the Criterion Bluray of Personal Shopper will pop on 10.24.
Posted on 6.20.16: “We were all knocked back when Personal Shopper played in Cannes, but a few too many critic friends have since told me ‘nope, not for me, didn’t care for it,’ etc. And yet some of these same naysayers liked or even loved The Conjuring 2, which operates way, way below the level of Assayas’ film. And that, to me, is appalling.
“All I can figure is that Personal Shopper is too antsy and schizo for some people. It’s too teasing and darting and inconclusive. It doesn’t behave like other ghost stories, and some just don’t know what to do with it. So they toss it and wash their hands.
“There’s not the slightest doubt in my mind about how uniquely chilling and riveting this film is — it’s my second favorite film of the year after Manchester by the Sea — and how stunningly good Stewart’s performance is. And yet two or three days ago Tom Luddy and Julie Huntsinger of the Telluride Film Festival were both telling me how they didn’t care for it. C’mon!”